Someecards Logo
ADVERTISING
'My wife and I want to adopt our teenage foster daughter but my FIL is furious about it.' MAJOR UPDATE

'My wife and I want to adopt our teenage foster daughter but my FIL is furious about it.' MAJOR UPDATE

ADVERTISING

When someone shows you who they are, believe them, even if that means rearranging your life.

"My wife (37F) and I (38M) want to adopt our teenage foster daughter but FIL (64M) is furious about it."

My wife and I have two biological teenage sons, one older and one younger than our foster daughter. We have been fostering kids for many years but the goal has always been to reunify the kids with their parents which has happened successfully each time until now. Two years ago we took in our foster daughter, now mid teens.

She had been through a LOT and was labeled as a "troubled kid" and not adoptable. I won't go into details, but the issue in this matter is that there are images of her going around amongst a certain community from before we took her in. We were informed by authorities about all of this before so it's not like this came as a surprise after we got to know her.

I'm not going to lie, it has not been easy. Our families have seen us struggle but almost everyone has been super supportive. The first 5-6 months were the hardest. She didn't trust us, and she was angry at the world - rightfully so. Then one random night I got up in the middle of the night and unintentionally ended up scaring her s**tless, and she had a full-blown panic attack.

She was ok after a little while but it was like something clicked for her that night. It was like she realized that we were on her side, and we watched her change from this angry and sad little girl to the ambitious young teenager we know today. It started with her telling us thank you for everything we did, small things like driving her to practice. And she said it with a smile on her face.

It was so amazing to see her feeling better and not so lonely anymore. From there everything changed. She made new friends and got a lot closer to my sons, especially the older one. Her grades went from failing multiple classes to getting straight A's. Not because we were nagging her, but because she wanted to.

Each member of our household has developed a good and strong relationship with her and the love we have for this girl cannot be put into words. We've reached that cosmic connection. She still struggles with a few things, which is totally fair after all she's been through, but she is working on it, and we are supporting her in every way we can.

Overall she's doing amazing, she's so strong and I'm very proud of her. We made the decision to fight the system to change their verdict from not adoptable to available for conditional adoption, because we want to commit to her for life. We want to adopt her. Last month we got the call that they changed their verdict, and we sent in our papers that were already ready and things are looking promising.

The thing is we haven't told her yet. She knows that she is now adoptable, but we haven't asked her if she wants us to officially adopt her yet. My wife and I have talked to our sons about it, and they are fully on board. We talked to my parents, our brothers and sisters and their spouses.

All of them have a good relationship with our daughter, and every single one of them is so supportive of our decision and willing to fully welcome our daughter into our family. Then there is wife's parents...MIL hasn't been awful I guess, but maybe it's because I'm comparing what she said to what FIL said. We told them about our plan and asked them about their opinion.

MIL asked if we were sure as our daughter doesn't quite "fit in". My wife and I didn't understand at all since our daughter has a very similar personality as we and our sons do. But it turns out she's concerned about the visual side of it as she's clearly not our biological child and people will start asking questions. The thing is, my wife, myself and our sons are very tall. Our daughter is not.

She is tiny compared to us and has a similar eye color but not the exact same. All 5 of us have the same skin tone and colored and textured hair. Not that I think this matters AT ALL(!!!) but the stupidity of it is unreal! Apart from height she could pass as our biological daughter, so I'm starting to think this is a lame excuse for something else.

I told her that people would ask questions no matter what, because even if our daughter was the spitting image of my wife, it's not like she suddenly gave birth to a teenager two years ago. And the answer to any question is very simple. "She's adopted." Tadaa! It's not like it could ever become a secret now, so I don't get it. MIL didn't say much after that but it was very clear she was not on board.

FIL hadn't said anything, but he didn't seem excited at all. I asked for his opinion, and he just stared at us for a minute, and then he said "Don't do this to yourself and our family." It's safe to say I was confused but I had no idea what to say.

After a few more seconds he went off! He started talking about their family name, and he didn't want that ruined by a little wh**e and what would people think if they saw these images floating around on the internet. I was stunned! My wife couldn't find any words either and started crying before she just left. I didn't say a word while FIL finished ranting but 1000 thoughts went through my head.

Eventually he stopped talking and I still had trouble finding any words to say. I just told him "you are sick!" and I left too. My wife is destroyed after hearing what her father thinks about our daughter. We have no idea how they know about these images as we haven't told anyone about it. I'm 100% certain my wife didn't tell them as their relationship is not that great.

My wife is closer to my mother than her own so that wouldn't make sense. We have tried to hide this from the kids since this happened, but my older son sensed something was very wrong and asked about it. I told him our conversation with ILs about adopting our daughter didn't go very well, and they weren't supportive. He wanted to know why.

I told him I couldn't tell him, but that it was serious and promised to talk to him about it in a few years when he's an adult. And I assured him that our daughter didn't do anything wrong, our plans haven't changed and that it's FIL who is being unreasonable. My son told me that our daughter told him a few months ago that she didn't think ILs liked her very much, especially FIL.

This happened two days ago, and we haven't spoken to them since. I'm not sure I even want to try tbh. For me this is going no contact worthy. I want nothing to do with them. My wife is in pieces and has mentioned that she doesn't want them in her life after this. This has tainted our adoption experience for sure.

I'm afraid though that if we piss FIL off even more that he will start talking to our family about these images. I do realize that he will look like a pig in everyone's eyes, but I would like to spare our daughter from everyone knowing about what's out there.

I usually talk to my mother about heavy stuff in life, but I cannot talk to her about this without feeling like I'm exposing my daughter by telling my mother more than I want to for my daughters sake. Internet strangers...I have no idea what to do from here. How do I go about the situation with FIL without creating more mess than absolutely necessary for my daughter?

Edit to add: Just to be very clear! There's no doubt in our minds that we still want to ask for our daughter's permission to adopt her! Our relationship with our daughter will not change no matter what FIL does or does not do. I realized from the first couple of comments that it became unclear after the FIL incident. Sorry about that.

Edit to add 4h later: I'm glad to see I'm not the only one possibly/hopefully reading too much into this. I think you have verified I'm not crazy. Wife and I had a brief talk after I posted and have decided to talk to her brothers and sister first about FIL's comments. It will be a hard conversation but it needs to happen.

Before I could get to it, my wife told me she wants to report the situation with her father knowing about the images of our daughter. Right now we don't know what that looks like but it has simply not been possible for him to gain this knowledge legally.

There is a culprit for sure, but we will leave that to the authorities for now. Thank you for giving me a reality check! And thank you for your encouragement, we need it right now.

The internet had a lot to say in response.

d0ey wrote:

Is he religious in a religion that looks down on s*x? Because that's pretty much the only non-creepy explanation for why he might act in this way?

Either way, I'd be contemplating reporting to the authorities.

OP responded:

Religious, yes, the no sex before marriage kind of thing, but I wouldn't say that's an overly extreme opinion compared to other people I know in their church. The big difference has to be that they have have heard of a thing called compassion.

He must have skipped that day of Sunday school or something. In his rant he kept saying our daughter is dirty. As if SHE did this, when in reality this was done TO her...I don't get it really. Yes, we did decide to involve the authorities.

AdAcrobatic5971 wrote:

I am gonna ask the dark question here. If you nor your wife told him, and you don’t know how he knows, is there any chance he found them himself? In which case that’s a whole other reason to go no contact.

My question also stems from his attitude to this. She is still a child and he doesn’t see her as a child and a victim, worthy of compassion but rather a s*xual being and a wh**e. That’s not normal. That’s scary. You need to protect your daughter from further ab*se, and at the very least he may emotionally or verbally ab*se her so cutting him out is the only way forward IMO.

But I would potentially ask him the questions I have asked you, and pointedly tell him that if he embarrasses your daughter by running his mouth, you will tell everyone you know that he found that information out by himself and that you have gone no contact because you dread to think what else is on his hard drive. That should keep him quiet.

draynaccarato wrote:

I’d never speak to that raging pos ever again. To blame a CHILD for those pictures is beyond repulsive.

Best wishes on your family and your new daughter.❤️

ThrowRAmapsnapback wrote:

Wow…that’s a very difficult situation. First of all thank you for being amazing foster parents, you’ve given this girl a lifeline and she no doubt knows who is really there for her - that is you and your wife. In terms of navigating this situation, you have two initial steps. The first (obvious) is to prioritise the well-being of your family, especially your foster daughter.

Continue to provide her with love and support. Second, it’s crucial that you and your wife are on the same page. It sounds like you both agree on how you feel about the situation, but it will be a difficult time for your wife, having to confront painful truths about her parents, and she will need your support as much as your foster daughter does. Now to the sensitive matter.

You need to do everything you can to protect your daughter’s privacy. If you haven't already, consider seeking legal advice to understand what can be done to limit the spread of the images or take action against those distributing them. If your FIL or anyone else attempts to spread these images or uses them to harm her reputation, you should be prepared to take legal action.

You need to be prepared to have an honest conversation with your whole family, with the consent of your daughter, to proactively own the narrative (focusing on her resilience and that any previous victimization does not define her) if your FIL resorts to a nuclear action.

Ultimately I do not think you should be dissuaded from adopting your daughter. You have connected and are established as a family unit, you know the law and procedure better than anyone here could tell you, and you’ve made up your minds together. Best of luck.

Six days later, OP jumped on with a major update.

I wasn't prepared for my last post to blow up like it did. I am so thankful for everyone's support. It can be hard to see how messy a situation is when you're in the middle of it and so emotionally involved as I am, so I appreciate everyone pointing out a lot of worrying details. These last few days have been a whirlwind.

I have realized how messed up the situation is, but at the same time, people around us have shown how far they are willing to go to protect our little girl and how loved she is. I got a lot of questions and this post will be a long one. But I will answer as best as I can. I'll break things up a little for clarity. ILs and wifes siblings:

My wife and I decided to cut the ILs off completely. There is no coming back from this. We talked to her siblings about it to give them our side before they hear FIL;s messed-up version. We told them what our daughter has been through, without giving details ofc. They don't normally show emotion that much, it's just how they were raised.

But even my oldest BIL who is the toughest of them had to dry his eyes a few times during the conversation. Understandably. We told them about what happened with the ILs when we talked to them about adopting our daughter, and they were pissed! They agreed that this needed to be reported, and BIL wanted to be included in what was going on from there.

FIL and the legal situation:

Long story short, both MIL and FIL went in for questioning. For now, it looks like this happened through gossip. I'm not exactly sure if the authorities have figured out all the details yet, but I will stand back and let them do their job.

Some of you mentioned that child victims of these sorts of cr*mes are often moved to new environments for their own safety and protection. This is the case with our daughter. But if there are leakages in the system, all that work will be for nothing, and the children who are promised a second chance at a normal life will have their whole lives ruined once again.

That means this is a much bigger issue than this one incident. LE/investigators are taking this very seriously, and we do trust them. FILs explanation and electronics: My BILs and I tried to talk to FIL about his opinion of my daughter. He did repeat what he said the other day and doubled down. FIL did use God and the Bible a lot as reasons for his opinion.

I don't want to blame religion, because I know a lot of religious people who are amazing human beings, and none of them would ever say gross stuff like this. Oldest BIL gave FIL a lecture. He was told that it's more than enough that FIL's children think he is a mysogynistic piece of sh*t, they don't need to think he's also a pr*dator prying on young children.

There may or may not have been a threat or two mentioned about exposure. Seriously, this man (BIL) is the calmest, most loving human I have ever met. Every child in the family loves this guy. I have known him for almost 20 years, but that night he showed a side of him I had never seen before. I would have pissed myself if he was in my face like he was in FIL's.

FIL willingly gave LE every single piece of electronic device to clear his name. Even every VHS tape was given up. If everything is clear, he will be given everything back, so hopefully he doesn't have anything to worry about.

My lovely wife:

I'm ngl, my wife is struggling. She is in pieces after her parents' reaction. They are wrong in every way possible and have been wrong in many other ways through the years, but it seems like this was her breaking point. Like she realized that there is no hope that her parents will ever become the parents she wished for.

My parents have always known her relationship with her parents wasn't great, so they have stepped up for her a little differently than my siblings' partners. My wife has a good relationship with my parents, and I did give them a little heads up that there is stuff going on and my wife is struggling. My mother has been coming by every day just to check in, to talk and to give my wife an extra hug.

She made dinner a few times when we were busy, and my father has been giving the kids rides to either school or practice/games every day. They have taken a huge load of stress off my wife and me, so we could concentrate on what is going on right now without worrying about the kids.

After a few days, we told them how inappropriately my FIL had been talking about our daughter (my parents know about our daughter's SA but nothing more and no details), and that we are cutting them off for good. My parents are awesome and they love my wife almost more than me and promised her to step in, not just for the kids but for her as well.

So in time I believe my wife will be ok. We will get through this together. My wife and her siblings: I don't like the saying "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree". My wife and her siblings are the total opposites of their parents. They are amazing people and they are raising their kids to be amazing people. Their parents suck, but they came together and broke the circle. Sometimes the apple rolls away from the tree.

The rest of the extended family:

My wife and I are both close with all of our siblings, and we do live in a relatively small enough town that everyone knows everything about everyone bc of gossip. So we sort of had to include my siblings and our siblings' spouses.

We told them a very short version of what was going on, that yes, we are cutting the ILs off because they are not supportive of our decision to adopt our daughter, and FIL had said some very rude and inappropriate stuff about our daughter and MIL was on his side, but out of respect for our daughter to please not ask questions without reasons.

And we encouraged everyone to come to us directly if there were any rumors or anything going on. Everyone is very supportive and they agree that our daughter deserves privacy and respect - and that the ILs are AHs. Why we included so many people in our decision to adopt our daughter:

I got a few skeptical but fair questions about why we asked for people's opinions about the adoption. I get the skepticism, and that is partially on me for not explaining that part very well. It was not so much that we wanted our extended family's opinion and approval, but more so that we knew where everyone was in regards to welcoming our daughter as a permanent member of our family.

She is in her mid teens and we have only known her for two years. That's a lot of life to live before coming into our lives. It's not the same as welcoming a baby or a toddler into the family. We never got to take her to the park to play with her brothers and her cousins when she was a child. She wasn't present at family birthdays growing up. We didn't experience her first day of school.

Every Christmas Eve, when we were watching home alone with our boys growing up, she wasn't there. All of a sudden, there's an extra teenage niece/cousin/granddaughter, and that might not come naturally to everyone.

Our boys have a close relationship with my parents and their aunts, uncles and cousins, but although everyone has welcomed and loved every single one of our foster kids, everyone knew these kids already had parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, and our family always respected that. Our daughter has never had any of that. She was truly alone in this world when she came to us.

She is now in the process of gaining a sh*t ton of family that she never had before. That's a lot to take in as a teenager. Our intent is to guide and help her as much as we can in her relationship with everyone in our family, but to do that, we need to know what kind of relationship our family is ready to have with her. That's why we asked them, and we are thankful that they are so welcoming.

I know I said my wife isn't very close to her parents, but they did have a relationship before this sh*tstorm started, and they would become our daughter's grandparents. I don't know if it's right or wrong to include them given the relationship wasn't that great to begin with, but I'm glad we did so they had the chance to show their true colors before our daughter got the chance to bond with them as her grandparents.

The dark side in general: I'm going to be very vague here. Partially to protect my daughter and partially because I simply don't have a lot of info. Our daughter was a part of a larger case/circle that was uncovered a few years ago. She went through this hell for years.

The FBI was all over it when these people were discovered, and the people behind this case are in pr*son thanks to them. The problem is that the circles that are distributing the material are very complicated. Even though a lot of the material was found and locked down back then, given the amount of material and the timespan, there is just no way they got it all.

Sadly, this is the case in most cases when digital material reaches these online circles that distribute it worldwide. I do want to say I have so much respect for the people working on nailing these sick animals, as it is incredibly hard mentally to do what they do.

Our daughter and this sh*tstorm: I have to admit, I don't know what is right and what is wrong to do about informing our daughter about what is going on. But we did ask our caseworker to have a meeting with our daughter's therapist so we can find the best way to go about this together.

The 4 of us have had regular meetings these last 2 years to make sure we are all on the same page and work together. These people are awesome and put their hearts in to what they do, so I'm sure we will figure this out as well. Our daughter's adoption process:

After our daughter turned her whole life around and came out of her shell, we noticed more and more how well we fit together as a family. Don't get me wrong, my wife loves our boys, but it has been a whole new experience admiring her bonding with our daughter over girl stuff. I am a real dad jokes kind of dad.

While our boys just laugh in my face when I bring my best work, our girl rolls her eyes and scoffs at me while trying to hide a smile. Our boys really know how to wrap their mother around their little finger, while I see right through them. But this girl melts my heart. Her "Please?" combined with the puppy eyes, and I am sold while my wife is a hard a*s.

I guess that's what they mean when they talk about the typical difference between having boys and girls. Anyway, we brought it up with our caseworker last year that we were interested in adopting our girl. She walked us through what that would entail, and we were up for it.

Our daughter has been talking to her therapist and her caseworker throughout the process of changing the verdict to available for adoption, and she knows we are wanting to adopt her, and we were only waiting for the last paperwork to go through before we could ask for a court date. And she has told both of them she wants us to adopt her.

After all the mess she has been through, it's important to her to have a sense of control over her own life so we did make sure she knew it was coming, but at the same time, we wanted to make this really special for her. That's why we chose to do it this way. The day after my post, our caseworker called to let us know that our paperwork had gone through.

We arranged a family outing for the 5 of us. I'm not going to give too many details for our daughter's privacy, but we had such a great day together, and we asked for her permission, and guess what!

SHE SAID YES!

We laughed, we cried, it was overwhelming. It's finally official. We are adopting her! That same night, my wife and daughter were in the living room talking while I was working in the office. My wife called me into the living room, so I went in there to talk to them. And my girl asked me "from now on, is it ok if I call you dad?"... man I did not expect this!

I would be absolutely ok with her to keep using my name, but this is an honor! Ofc I said yes I'd be honored for her to call me dad! When I dropped her off for practice the next day, it really hit me when she, in front of her friends and all, said "bye dad, love you". I may or may not have shed a tear or two on my way home. Now we are 'mom and dad' to three.

We don't have a court date yet, but it will probably be this summer or maybe this fall. We are thinking of having a huge adoption party when that happens, but our girl will decide what she wants when that time comes. What we do know is that we're looking forward to it regardless. College, if adopted:

We have been told our daughter will lose some privileges when it comes to college tuition when we adopt her. I haven't looked too much into it yet, as we are not there yet age-wise. But it's not something we are worrying about. We make more than enough to put all our kids through college. We will look more into it when it becomes relevant. Right now the adoption is more important than money.

Adoption and the FIL situation: As of now, it doesn't look like FIL had access to the content of our daughter. It looks like he's "only" a mysogynistic piece of sh*t. And bc we have gone no contact he is a non issue in the adoption process. IF something dark sees the light of day, it will very possibly play a role in court.

That does not mean we don't want him exposed if he is a pr*dator. Our girl's safety is even more important than the adoption. But bc we have gone no contact it is very unlikely our daughter would ever be removed from our care. It would probably mean more of a large bump in the road on our way to adoption. Right now, all we can do is cross our fingers and wait for answers.

Our sons:

I will say our sons have made our daughter's recovery a whole lot more manageable. Yes, we as then-foster parents focused on loving our girl, and we never reprimanded her for acting out because we understood where her pain came from.

But she did all the work necessary while we were supportive and gave her a nudge here and there in the right direction. But we feel like our boys have done at least as much for her as we have. They just don't know it. Our boys were initially not informed about our daughter's SA, as there was no reason for it.

They were informed about the physical ab*se in general, no details, just enough to understand that our girl didn't like to be touched without permission. They were very respectful of her, and our youngest even felt bad for her when he hugged me or my wife in front of her because he felt like she deserved love as well.

They will never fully comprehend what our girl has been through, but they will also never understand how much they have helped her by just existing around her. They have shown her what healthy relationships with family look like and what boundaries are. Our older son and our daughter are close in age, and he introduced her at school to his friend group, including her now best friend.

She has observed our boys a lot during her time with us, and they have played a huge role in teaching her how to live a worry-free teenage life. This has resulted in them having such a great sibling bond, and that melts my heart. To the few people who predict that our girl will end up pregnant by one of our boys...go outside and listen to the birds sing. Read a book. Try out a new hobby.

There are a lot of really interesting things in this world other than your favorite family videos on the hub. I'm sure I have forgotten a few things, and there are a few questions I cannot answer, especially when it comes to investigations and other legal stuff. And I did change a few benign details to throw people off for privacy reasons to protect our girl.

If there is update-worthy stuff later, when the investigations have been concluded, I may give it, but that won't happen for at least several months. For now, I just wanted to update you guys on our girl and assure you that she is ok.

Internet strangers, thank you for your support, advice, and encouragement, and most of all, thank you for caring about our girl, my wife, our family, and victims in general. The world is not that bad after all.

The internet was so happy to hear such a thorough update.

Bashfulapplesnapple wrote:

The amount of tears I have shed over this post. I'm not in a position to foster children, but I am so, sooo grateful for people like you and your wife! There's so many terrible people in the system, every wonderful family like yours keeps a child out of the hands of ab*sers and pr*dators. Thank you so much for the update! Wishing all the happiness for your family 💓

joiezabel wrote:

Congrats on your new daughter! You have navigated this difficult situation with wisdom. You seem like really good people and I wish your family all the best.

ausbookworm wrote:

Ninja onion cutters, have been sneaking around spreading cut onions around people reading this post.

Seriously, congrats OP, I hope everything in your girls future goes well. (Also love that you refer to her as our girl) ❤️

OP responded:

Thank you! Legally she's not ours yet, but to us that's not the most important thing. The love is what makes her ours and us hers.

Kendertas wrote:

Don't get how he kept it together when she asked to call him dad. I'm always half way to full on ugly crying whenever I read a kid saying that, I can't imagine what it feels like when you're the parent.

OP responded:

At her age I was just not expecting her to want to change how she referred to us and I fully respected that. It was the initial shock I think. Trust me, I did ugly cry after I dropped her off though.

Well, this ended remarkably wholesome given the dark and heavy stakes.

Sources: Reddit
© Copyright 2024 Someecards, Inc

ADVERTISING
Featured Content